by Chenue Her – Published August 17, 2013

EUGENE, Ore. — They help Oregon bring in about $600 million worth of agricultural profit every year but their population has been dying off rapidly.

We’re talking about bees and on Saturday, people gathered at a Eugene grocery store to celebrate National Honey Bee Day and spread awareness about a pesticide they say has been killing them.

Demonstrators covered displays of produce at Sundance Foods to show what a world without bees would look like.

Beyond Toxics, an organization in Eugene, was in the store Saturday morning to educate the public on how they say neonicotinoid pesticides have killed many bees.

Executive director, Lisa Arkin, said if bees didn’t exist, there would be no pollination and our food system would be disrupted significantly. She says educating residents on these pesticides is important because there are people who buy it without knowing the effects on the insects.

“The demonstration here of all the food that are covered up, it’s about half of the available food would be gone if we continue to have the precipitous decline of honey bees in the United States,” said Arkin.

Advocates were also asking people to sign a petition this morning to restrict the use of neonicotinoid.

Arkin said the problem has received national attention. She said more than $25 billion of agricultural profits can be directly linked to bee pollination.